The Kurds of Northern Iraq held an independence referendum, Iraqi federal forces seized Kirkuk, and the world wondered if we were on the precipice of another round of what could be described as one long-running Iraqi civil war involving the state, jihadists, tribes, sectarian militias, various Kurdish factions, and – of course – a bevy of outside powers.
We haven’t seen a descent into a new round of violence, at least yet. But what does the future hold for Iraq? Can the Kurds and Baghdad come to some sort of agreement? What do we mean when we say “the Kurds” anyway? What does this mean for Iraq and Iraqi nationalism now that the war to take back territory from the self-proclaimed Islamic State is winding its way to an end? What about the Shia militias raised for that fight? What place do they now hold in Iraq?